Brother Sun, Sister Moon: The Life and Stories of St. Francis

Brother Sun, Sister Moon: The Life and Stories of St. Francis

by Margaret Mayo, Peter Malone
     
 
Saint Francis of Assisi has always held a fascination for members of all faiths, and his story continues to inspire and motivate us more than seven hundred years after his death. Born into a wealthy family, he led a dissolute life as a young man. Then one day he had a conversion experience while passing a poor leper's hut. From that day on, Francis dedicated his life

Overview

Saint Francis of Assisi has always held a fascination for members of all faiths, and his story continues to inspire and motivate us more than seven hundred years after his death. Born into a wealthy family, he led a dissolute life as a young man. Then one day he had a conversion experience while passing a poor leper's hut. From that day on, Francis dedicated his life to helping the poor and outcasts of society and to teaching respect for all living things. He was joined by a noblewoman, Clare, who was soon know as Sister Moon to Francis's Brother Sun. This appealing book includes many of the tales that were told about him, including his taming of the fierce wolf of Gubbio and the famous prayer that begins, "Lord, make me an instrument of they peace." With its charming text and glowing illustrations this is a book to give, to keep, to cherish.

Editorial Reviews

Publisher's Weekly
Malone's magnificently detailed illustrations are the highlight of this attractive volume...
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Malone's (The Magic Flute) magnificently detailed illustrations are the highlight of this attractive volume, which tells of the perennially popular Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), the son of a wealthy merchant who went on to take a vow of poverty and ascended to sainthood. Beginning with a sketchy biography, Mayo (How to Count Crocodiles) adds several legends about St. Francis. Unfortunately, the biographical section may raise more questions than it answers. For instance, most biographers agree that Francis's yearlong imprisonment was a time of epiphany, but Mayo's account is confusing ("After a long illness, Francis returned to his old life of luxury and pleasure. Illness and prison had changed him though, so that now he would sometimes walk alone in the hills, thinking and praying"). While the biographical section fails to capture the charisma of both Francis the indulged youth and Francis the convert, his magnetic qualities come through more clearly in the legends that follow (especially in "How Francis Tamed a Ferocious Wolf" and "The Ox, the Ass and the Child of Bethlehem"). Supplied in abundance, Malone's exquisite vignettes and spot illustrations, inspired by Italian frescoes, do more than the text to characterize the saint. His Francis possesses an accessible yet otherworldly quality, whether singing beneath a crescent moon as a man born to affluence, riding off to war in his stately armor or praying in the ruined church of San Damiano. By the time readers find St. Francis's own "Canticle of Brother Sun," included at the end, they'll know how to appreciate it. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature
Margaret Mayo's Brother Sun, Sister Moon examines the life of St. Francis of Assisi. She tells of his childhood and then focuses on individual stories that were important to his life. Saint Francis is particularly known for his special talent, communicating with animals. Mayo retells in her own words, numerous short stories, and by not pushing religion, but rather letting Francis's experiences lead the message, Mayo repeats over and over the moral message of goodness and religion while illustrating the self-realization of Saint Francis. The boy Francis grew up wealthy, the son of a cloth merchant. "His parents gave him everything he wanted, and he spent money extravagantly on himself, and his friends." At age twenty, "dressed in shining armor and mounted on a splendid horse," Francis went to war. But he returned from war ill and in rags, and instead of returning to his old lifestyle, he listened to a voice that told him to repair a church. Soon after, Francis disowned his father and claimed to the world, "I have only one father who is in heaven." Thus, Francis came to know himself and his purpose in the world. For example, Francis, unlike the townspeople, did not fear a wolf that terrorized the town. He said, "Don't be afraid. The Maker of all things will take care of me." He tamed the wolf and made the town happy. Likewise, he praised the birds and spoke of their beauty. While he didn't say the word God, the reference was strong. Mayo portrays how this repetition of religious experiences gave self-realization and moral values to the growing Francis. She shows rather than tells St. Francis's choice to become more godlike, thus encouraging "maturation and growth through the reinforcementof positive values and concepts." 2000, Little Brown, $16.95. Ages 9 to 12. Reviewer: Renee Riley
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
How the son of a wealthy merchant renounced his inheritance and formed a religious order is recounted in carefully chosen words that capture the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. Following a brief and lucid biography are some stories that relate his unique experiences with animals and people. There are both longer stories, such as those about taming the wolf at Gubbio and creating the first Nativity scene, as well as two and three-page stories about his interactions with birds and fish. Mayo further reinforces the joyful spirit of Francis in her introduction to his famous poem, "The Canticle of Brother Sun." The clean layout with its wide borders and well-placed illustrations painted in a late medieval/early Italian Renaissance style will attract the reader. St. Francis' message of peace and joy permeates the book. Perfect for adults and children to share together. 2000, Little Brown & Company, Ages 8 to 12, $16.95. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
Kevin Kelly
Margaret Mayo's language, her sentences and story structures are always delightfully simple, but never simplistic. Peter Malone's illustrations recall the traditions of medieval manuscript illumination because of their brilliant palette and arresting whimsy. Heavenly bodies always appear with beatific human features; occasionally a saint or cathedral appears floating in midair. They cast a glow over the text.
New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
Mingling finely detailed wildlife portraits with scenes resembling the paintings of Fra Angelico and his predecessors, Malone (World of Words, 1998) creates jewel-like illustrations, some literal, others visionary, for this lapidary account of St. Francis' life and legends. The author humanizes the saint in the opening biographical sketch by describing his profligate youth, slowly dawning vocation and bitter parting with his father. She follows with eight stories, including the "bargain" with the ferocious Wolf of Gubbio; Francis' invention of the Christmas crèche scene; his sermon to the birds and other encounters with animals. Then she closes with an extract from his "Canticle of Brother Sun," plus a glance at the Franciscan Order he founded. Though less detailed than Tomie DePaola's Francis: The Poor Man of Assisi (1982), this makes a lovely alternative for younger readers. (Biography. 9-11)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316564663
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
04/01/2000
Pages:
80
Product dimensions:
7.81(w) x 9.39(h) x 0.51(d)
Lexile:
740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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